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John Kuhn Press Conf. Transcript - Jan. 24

Posted Jan 24, 2011


You've got a Super Bowl ring?
Yeah, with the Steelers.

Where is it?
It's at home here.  I keep it in the safe.  I don't look at it all that much.  I was on the practice squad.  I got a lot of great experiences out of it, and it was a tremendous time, a great week.  But I've always told myself I wanted to get on an active roster and win one on the field.

What was it about this week and the week before you guys went to the Super Bowl when you were at Pittsburgh, how did they handle that schedule?  How is it different?
We haven't gotten too deep into our schedule yet, how practice is going to be this week.  From outside right now, it looks very similar.  It looks like we're going to start back up on Wednesday, probably go pretty hard here at the end of the week and do much of our heavy stuff here this week before we get down there.  Very similar.

Anything about the Super Bowl that you learned?
Just embrace every moment because the week goes pretty fast.  Everything's so special and it’s so different.  It's not a typical week, so just take every moment and really embrace it, soak it in.  But remember that at the end of the week all your memories will be that much sweeter if you get the win.

I know you kind of grew up on the other side of the stage of being a Pennsylvania kid and having had that experience with the Steelers.  What are your feelings about facing them?
I'm excited.  I'm really excited.  I was secretly hoping because I still have a bunch of friends over there.  It's just a special feeling.  I've got a lot of friends and family and people rooting for me that are Steeler fans, and it's going to be great.

Did you grow up a Steeler fan?
No, I didn’t. Ironically I grew up a Cowboys fan.  My dad kind of had me rooting for the Cowboys growing up.  We were right in the middle of Pittsburgh and Philly.

There are so many Steeler connections to the coaching staff here. Do you think it means something extra than those guys too?
Yeah, I believe so.  Any time you have connections and you go to play that team, there is a little bit of want to, a little bit more to beat them.  I think everybody is really focused for this one.

What do you know about their defense?
Well, I know they're the only defense to allow fewer points than our defense, and our defense is pretty good.  So they've got great guys on the edge.  They've got Troy Polamalu who wreaks havoc in the secondary.  And they look like they play really good team ball.

How do you feel about playing in the new Cowboy Stadium?
I'm excited.  We haven't been down there yet, so I'm excited to see what the stadium's got.  And they said it's wild, so I'm really pumped up.

What specific memories do you have in the week leading up to the game and all the hoopla around it?
Just everything.  You have the media day.  The media day's a lot of fun for everybody all the way.  It doesn't matter if you're Aaron Rodgers or a guy off the practice squad.  The media day is a trip for everybody.  That's exciting. Every day you kind of wake up and go through the NFL-mandated meeting the press in one of the rooms and then you go to practice and go to work and you forget all about it being a Super Bowl.  You bear down in practice for a little bit, and you go back and just enjoy yourself.

You mentioned Aaron Rodgers, you were pretty close to him.  What can you say about his calmness and the way he's handled that side of things getting ready for the spotlight?
He's done a phenomenal job.  I think last year's experience with the Wild Card game shows a lot.  He comes out this year in Philly and you could see it.  He was determined.  He wasn't nervous.  He wasn't anything.  He came out and showed first game Philly all the way through the playoffs, he's going to roll with the punches and play his best ball.  I think he did that.

Obviously, the Packers and Steelers are great NFL franchises.  Is there anything you can learn from those organizations in the way you do things that you can make a comparison?
Yeah, I think there is.  The Steelers, even though they're family-owned they take very good care of their players, and players like to go there.  They'll go there for less money, and I think guys will do that here in Green Bay too because they understand that an organization that takes care of you, you want to play for an organization like that.

Do you see reactions from veterans like Donald and Chad who have been around here a long time who haven't had this opportunity to get to this point?
It meant a lot.  You could see it on the faces of those guys.  They've been through some struggles, some really close calls in 2007 and other playoff games.  To see them finally get to go to a Super Bowl, it's pretty special.

You came in on the waiver wire.  What do you think of the job Ted's done?
I think Ted's done a fantastic job.  I'm not really a guy to judge what the general manager does.  But we've had a lot of injuries this year, and he's been able to roll with the punches and get guys in here and contribute.  So I think a lot needs to be said for that.

What was that atmosphere like on Sunday with all the Bears and Packers fans and kind of in the stands? 
It was definitely a championship-game atmosphere.  Their fans were fired up.  We did a good job getting them out of the game a little bit early.  But when they came back there, it got back to being pretty loud.  I didn't notice any bickering between the fans in the stands, but I know it was definitely loud.

In three weeks of playoffs on the road, you've had a six‑day period between games.  How much are you looking forward to taking advantage of the two weeks?
Yeah, I think both teams are going to take advantage of the two weeks and be able to get guys healthy, if not 100%, pretty close to 100%.  I think everybody's going to be really ready to go once the game rolls around finally.

Do you allow yourself next week to take in any of the activities or is it just business as usual?  Do you just kind of stay holed up in the hotel area?
Well, like I said, you need to embrace it.  You need to really enjoy the fact that you're there.  But at the same time, you need to win that game.  You're there to play a game ultimately and to try to win it.  If you win it, it makes all the memories that much sweeter.

Can you talk about the evolution of the running game this year?
Yeah, we lost Ryan early in the season and we've been trying to fill holes all season long.  We've done a good job.  Each guy  has stepped in different weeks and done something special.  If you look, you could point at every guy in the backfield and say this is the week they did something special.  This is the week Brandon Jackson did something special.  This is the week Starks came, his coming-out party.  So I think everybody's contributed well along the ride.

When the team gets down inside the 5‑yard line, do you hear the fans chanting "Kuhn"?
It's pretty obvious. You definitely hear them.  I think it's helped us a little bit.  Sometimes a defense might key on me and we can do a play-action, so it's nice.

Talking about some of your emotions, you mentioned looking at the Super Bowl ring, has it hit you that you're going to be a significant contributor this time around?  Are you excited?  What are you kind of feeling?
I'm anxious already for the game.  I want to get there and I want to play.  Because like I said, this has been something that I've looked at ever since I was there with Pittsburgh, and I just wanted to get back there and play so badly.  And to be back there and play against Pittsburgh, it's a whirlwind of emotions, but I'm more excited than anything.

Were you on the sidelines of that game?
Yes.

You've been talking about the Super Bowl all the way back to training camp.  How much confidence does this team carry?
We've carried a lot of confidence all year long.  We've had a roller coaster ride.  We never really got down.  We always just tried to focus on the next game at hand, and we've taken things one game at a time.  Gave ourselves an opportunity late in the season and came through.

Do you keep in touch with those guys?
Yeah, there are several guys on the team and some people on their staff that I send text messages back and forth with.

 
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